updated 04:00 pm EDT, Wed May 4, 2011
Could help audio quality of hardware, software
Apple has hired the creator of Lucasfilm's THX sound standard, Tomlinson Holman, according to This Week in Tech host Leo Laporte. In a Twitter post Laporte explains that he has it "on good authority" that Holman is "joining Apple to run audio." Most recently Holman was a film sound professor at the University of Southern California.
THX helped to establish baselines for sound quality and surround sound in movie theaters, and later in home audio. All of Lucasfilm's THX patents are based on Holman's work, for which he ultimately received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement. While still at the studio he operated for 15 years as its corporate technical director.
Apple may be looking to raise standards in several areas. It could for instance be interested in improving the output of the built-in speakers for Macs and iOS devices, which is vastly inferior to a dedicated sound setup. It could also be looking to enhance iTunes' audio processing, or even the quality of the files sold at the iTunes Store.